So the whistle's blown and it's a draw. Time called on the unofficial final rugby test of the year with Rugby Australia and Israel Folau settling for the result no one wants.

After failed mediation and a Federal court case due to start, I wonder whether both (separately) agreed that it wasn't so much about who might win, but rather that neither side wanted to look like they'd lost - something both parties would probably reckon on being at least as important as not actually losing.

The potential damage to either's credibility would've been substantial and enduring, a result neither could afford, i.e. damage at a cost worth considerably more than any monetary figure the court may impose.

Martin Devlin: Plenty of unanswered questions still from RWC
Martin Devlin: There aren't 26 people capable of coaching the All Blacks
Twelve Questions with Martin Devlin
Martin Devlin: Make no mistake people, the All Blacks are in bounceback mode


This utter blight on the game in Australia began in early April, with Folau posting the first of his hate/religious tweets. By May his contract was terminated and legal action commenced.

Originally Folau sued RA for $10 million in lost salary/damages, with that amount increasing to $14m a couple of weeks back when he claimed he should've been the Wallaby captain and his sacking prevented him from leading the team to RWC glory in Japan.

That statement alone is as farcical as yesterday's press release, which combined "real" heartfelt apologies with wonderful wishes for each other's respective futures.

In the end was it about freedom of speech, restriction of religious beliefs or simple breach of an employment contract - that we're now never going to know.

Australian Rugby CEO Raelene Castle has settled with Israel Folau. Photo / File
Australian Rugby CEO Raelene Castle has settled with Israel Folau. Photo / File

Yes, we can all think and assume whatever we want only there's now no official court
judgement to even base an argument upon.

And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Because you'd think from here the saga both ends now and now ends.

If that's the case then maybe it's all of us who win. Who isn't over it, sick of it and
would rather never hear any more about it?

If, like me, that's also you then this could quite possibly be the first time in rugby history where a tied-result is in fact a win for all sides.


Seriously, though, there's about as much sense in that utterance as Folau claiming the recent Ozzie bush fires were God's reactive wrath over Canberra's same-sex marriage legislation.

After everything that's been said, hopefully this now puts the whole thing to bed. It ended in a draw and no one knows the score.